Initiatives in real estate that put Romania on the world map, presented at “Sustainable buildings, A step into the future” event

The series of the ONLINE debates related to the way in which the real estate industry has adapted to the new reality caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, was opened on November 26, with discussions about standards, certification and audit systems of buildings, cost efficiency solutions in energy, workplace management, facility management trends, current socio-economic trends related to the way in which professional behavior has changed, the new architecture of work and living spaces.

Andrei Botis, President of RoGBC, led the discussions on the challenges and opportunities in the Romanian real estate industry, through a series of well-targeted questions, meant to outline a more real and complete picture of the current situation generated by the COVID pandemic 19. Partners of disscussion: Stefan Tudos – Vice President Genesis Property, Cristian Vasiliu – Managing Director ROFMA, Remus Mihai Hirceaga – Partner Expense Reduction Analyst Europe (ERA), Cristian Macedonschi – Ambassador DEKRA Trusted Facility in Romania, Monica Cranganu – Director IDA Design, Liliana Cristea, Integrative Psychotherapist and founder of the Liliana Cristea Psychology Office.
Stefan Tudos, Vice President of Genesis Property presented to the audience how Genesis Property responded to a global problem, with a global solution: the safety standard IMMUNE Building Standard ™ (IMMUNE ™) ​​Healthy by Design, a Romanian initiative, proposed by Liviu Tudor , founder of Genesis Property and president of the European Property Federation. The standard redefines the future of office buildings by certifying resilience to current and future health risks and identifying a coherent set of measures that any office owner in the world can apply to ensure the quality of health of their buildings.

Stefan Tudos stressed that, going beyond the initial phase of the shock caused by the pandemic, it is very important how to return to work, and owners and developers will have to find a solution that gives confidence. Confidence is also the main thing that the IMMUNE standard asigura ensures through the over 100 measures, which once implemented, create the feeling of safety at work. The standard took over a series of specificities of clean rooms in hospitals and drug factories, where the virological part is taken into account, and the multidisciplinary team came up with a set of over 100 measures on the technology, design and safety side, which once implemented in buildings, make them as safe as possible, Stefan Tudos pointed out.

As a result of the evaluation of the measures that have been implemented, the buildings will receive a scoring, based on which they will be classified in 3 major categories in terms of resilience: Strong (3 *), Powerful (4 *) and Strong (5 *).

Regarding the benefits of implementing this standard, Stefan Tudos stressed that they lie in the fact that the most important objective is achieved, namely that of certifying the building in terms of health and safety. This fact responds to the requests of tenants and users of buildings, at the level of generating confidence, in order to return to work.
Stefan Tudos underlined that the initiative was received with great enthusiasm, both locally and globally, and that, at the moment, work is being done to implement the standard in the Novo Parc and West Gate office parks, and to certify IMMUNE Building Standard ™ of the first buildings in Romania.

How did the Facility Management companies adapt, and how did they rethink their operations in the 8 months since the beginning of the pandemic?

Cristian Vasiliu, Managing Director of ROFMA, answered this question launched by Andrei Botis. During this period, a number of threats and opportunities were identified. In his opinion, the 3 biggest threats are related to the renegotiation of contracts, the reduction of operational costs and the maintenance of equipment functionality.

At the same time, in response to threats, there are a number of opportunities in the FM field, including rethinking and re-optimizing processes, but also the widespread use of digital technologies. In the 8 months, FM companies have placed great emphasis on the resilience of buildings, on maintaining the operation of equipment in normal parameters, in order to provide an increased degree of confidence, through the convergence between smart building and safe building, said Cristian Vasiliu. In order to achieve these goals, Cristian Vasiliu emphasizes the need to invest in procedures, techniques and staff education.

Cristian Vasiliu also spoke about the problems that the FM sector has faced and is facing, a number of FM service providers acutely feeling the problems generated by the COVID 19 pandemic, and stressed that those who have suffered less, and have better faced with the challenges, they were the ones who had a wide and diversified portfolio of activities, being implemented both in office buildings, but also in commercial and industrial-logistical areas.

Asked by Andrei Botis, about how the FM industry will evolve in the next period, how those in the industry will receive and implement standards such as IMMUNE Building Standard ™, Cristian Vasiliu answered that ROFMA embraces such initiatives, it is very open to promote them, believing that all actors involved will need to understand the need and importance of implementing these standards in order to meet current and future challenges.
Returning to the standards launched on the market in response to the challenges generated by the COVID 19 pandemic, Andrei Botis asked Cristian Macedonschi – Ambassador DEKRA Trusted Facility in Romania, about the DEKRA standard: what is the proposed audit of this standard, what are the benefits of certification and in which areas addresses.

We learned from Cristian Macedonschi that DEKRA, through its 100 auditors in Romania, has granted the status of “trusted facility” to a large number of office buildings, accommodation units, retailers, restaurants and pharmacies. The reason why the operators resorted to DEKRA certification is a very simple and topical one: transmitting a sense of security to those who cross their threshold.

A reason for joy and pride for Cristian Macedoschi is the fact that, in terms of well-thought-out partnerships with major hotel associations, FM, or retailers, Romania is on the first place in implementing the DEKRA audit. “Managers understood from the beginning the importance of providing security, and responded affirmatively to this initiative,” said Cristian Macedonschi.

Cristian Macedonschi also spoke during the event about a very interesting project, carried out in Brasov, which will be a premiere in Europe. The project, carried out in partnership with the Hygeniuum company, aims to designate an entire street as safe from the point of view of health safety. In his opinion, it is very important that, along with the buildings, we also have tourist destinations that give safety signals.

Remus Mihai Hirceaga – Expense Reduction Analyst Europe (ERA) Partner, discussed cost optimization and efficiency, so important in any context, but especially in the pandemic and post-pandemic period, both for tenants and for developers and landlords.

He talked about how optimizing energy costs could positively influence the total cost of rents to approach the desired level of tenants and landlords. In his opinion, the health crisis has led to a financial crisis. The number of those who will return to work is a great threat to the industry, which will completely change the way offices look. Lately, the operational costs and the way of communicating with the tenants regarding these costs are being considered more and more, in order to make a difference between the real price / sqm versus the rent / sqm price.

Remus Mihai Hirceaga considers that there will be pressure from tenants in terms of costs of any kind, but also in terms of energy, which is intended to be renewable, more and more.

A very important component in the complete picture of the current situation is related to the new architecture of jobs and living, generated by the COVID 19 pandemic.

What are the challenges of today related to the new design of jobs, how to organize our home office, what are the trends in the field, but also what current and future solutions exist, are questions answered by Monica Cranganu – IDA Director design.

The main trend is to have a mix between the 2 jobs: office and home.
Regarding the creation of a job in the home, Monica Cranganu considers that it is very important to adapt to the new reality, to find a place where we feel good, where we can dedicate our time to work. It is good that this space is clearly delimited from the rest of the house and from the rest and relaxation area, in particular, in order to be able to make a difference and work in the maximum efficiency. It is ideal to have a self-contained room in this sense, but the biggest challenges come in the situation where we are dealing with small spaces, large families, where everyone has to find a corner to adapt as much as possible. better to create an environment conducive to work, said Monica Cranganu.

At the same time, we must consider the pieces of furniture (which should ensure comfort), the correct light source, which should ideally be natural.
Functionality comes first, and aesthetics at the discretion of each, it must be integrated and adapted to the entire context, taking into account the color, style and other decor elements of the rest of the house.
Regarding the office spaces in the buildings, there will definitely be a change in the direction of changing the spaces. In his opinion, as a general trend, the concept of open space will be abandoned, a subdivision will be thought so that each occupant of the building will have his space of sanitary safety and efficiency. Depending on the profile of the activity, some will migrate to work from home, others will adapt to the repartitioning of buildings.

Suppliers have also diversified their offer and adapted their materials, or are thinking of solutions to bring on the market materials that meet new demands, such as anti-bacteriologically treated surfaces, finishes that can be maintained as easily as possible, which can be disinfected and sanitized, and to last over time. Also, materials have appeared that incorporate a series of advanced technologies, which tend to replace the raw, traditional materials.
When asked by Andrei Botis, about the top 3 actions that someone living in a classic apartment of 60 sqm should take to work from home in optimal conditions, Monica Cranganu considers that, first of all, to identify the area that creates your comfort and the energy that determines you to work efficiently; as mandatory conditions: the “corner” of the house, where to adapt his workplace and where to install his desk, chair (which is very important, having to ensure the correct position of the body), lighting source and, last but not least row, storage solutions to keep the workplace in order.

Because, after all, the most important element in any discussion is the man, I found out from Liliana Cristea, Integrative Psychotherapist and founder of the Psychology Office Liliana Cristea, what homework means from a psychological point of view. As Liliana Cristea observed, in the first instance, the companies focused on technology and the acquisition of communication platforms, but along the way, it was found that this was not the main problem we were going to face. The main problem is actually related to the mind-set and the psychological adaptation to the new way of working. Before the pandemic, many employees wanted to work from home, and companies were reluctant to give them this benefit.

Paradoxically, with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic and the obligation to work from home, many employees have found that it is not as comfortable and efficient to work from home, is the opinion of Liliana Cristea. The way you get what you want, the conditions you have at home (space, technology, number of family members, schedule, roles), are the main challenges we have to face. Social isolation is also a great challenge, which increases the level of stress.

From the dialogue with her clients, Liliana Cristea concluded that most of them want to return to the office, because it is difficult for them to concentrate from home, because there are interruptions, normal, generated by the personal space in which they are.

Is there a future in working from home? Yes, but in addition to the implementation of the technology, there will have to be flows that will determine the employee to work in the personal space in the same productivity conditions as those offered by the office. In addition, it is very important to change and separate the personal environment from the professional one.

Andrei Botis asked Liliana Cristea what she considers to be the main reasons that have determined people to turn to the services of a psychologist lately in increasing numbers? She believes that many patients come into therapy with panic attacks, generated by the messages they hear all around them. Depending on personal experiences, everyone receives this kind of message at a different intensity, and then the level of stress increases. Thus, some turn messages meant to protect us into threatening messages.

Special thanks to the partners of this edition:
Main Partner: Next Energy Partners
Partners: TailPath, Genesis Property, Private Jets Europe
Supporting Partners: ROFMA, RoGBC

About the organizer:
With experience in organizing private events, in 2016, Idea Events started organizing a series of public events generated by the most current international and national topics in terms of sustainability and sustainable development.

With each event organized, Idea Events promotes good practices, encourages creativity and facilitates the exchange of experience. All materials used in the events are made from recycled materials, and each action promotes an environmentally friendly approach.


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